Billy R. Smith, 85, of Dyersburg, Tennessee died on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at West Tennessee Healthcare-Dyersburg Hospital in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
Born Wednesday, October 3, 1934 in Gadsden, Alabama, he was the son of the late William M. Smith and the late Ethel Gage Smith. Mr. Smith studied Business at the University of Alabama also attended Columbia University in New York. He began his newspaper career at an early age, working a as carrier for the Gadsden Times in Gadsden, Alabama, where he was was later promoted to Circulation Manager. After leaving Gadsden he worked for the Montgomery Advertiser as their Circulation Manager. He then assumed the position as Circulation Manager for the Bristol Herald Courier in Bristol, Tennessee. In 1972 he moved to Dyersburg, Tennessee where he served as Publisher for the State Gazette leaving in 1980 to become the Publisher for the Southwest Times in Pulaski, Virginia. Mr. Smith then moved back to Dyersburg, Tennessee in 1995 and was the Publisher for the State Gazette before retiring in 1999. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, former member of the Pulaski Community Hospital Board in Pulaski, Virginia and member of the Dyersburg Church of God. If anyone knew Mr. Billy, you knew that he was an avid University of Alabama football fan.
Funeral services for Mr. Smith will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, June 27, 2020 in the Chapel of Johnson-Williams Funeral Home. Officiating the service will be Pastor Joseph Ballinger. Visitation will be Saturday from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Johnson-Williams Funeral Home. Graveside services will be 2:00 PM on Monday, June 29, 2020 at Crestwood Cemetery in Gadsden, Alabama with Rev. Jack Smith officiating.
He leaves to cherish his memory, one daughter, Debbie Funderburk (Terry) of Dyersburg, Tennessee; three sons, Randy Smith of Dyersburg, Tennessee, Ron Smith (Barbara) of Southaven, Mississippi and Rick Smith of Dyersburg, Tennessee; two sisters, Jane Daughdrill (King) and Shirley Robertson both of Gadsden, Alabama; one brother, Rev. Jack Smith (Carol) of Gadsden, Alabama; four grandchildren, Jason Funderburk (Amanda) of Newbern, Tennessee, Brooke Weaver (Scott) of Hoover, Alabama, Lori Knight (Brandon) of Memphis, Tennessee and Kathrine Owens (Josh) of Memphis, Tennessee and eight great-grandchildren, Eric Funderburk, Aniston Funderburk, Grace Weaver, Gwen Weaver, Christian Crowder, Kaylie Crowder, Taylor Crowder and Madison Knight.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of sixty-two years, Shirley Jean Cole Smith; one brother, LeeRoy Smith; one sister, Gloria Countryman and a grand-daughter, Kaitlyn Smith.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorials be directed to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601-7633 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online condolences may be made to the family at johnsonwilliamsfuneralhome.com. Johnson-Williams Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Billy R. Smith.
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